Food Compatibility

I suspect that in your family, most of the time you are all in agreement about whether or you enjoy a certain food. I assume that each family member’s taste informs the others, and, as a whole, the group settles on a happy medium. However, sometimes, you are not.

Fortunately, I would say that most of the time, Howard and I are in sync on our food likes and dislikes. We might have different preferences, but, generally, we like the same things.

Don’t get me wrong. We don’t live in a world of perfect harmony. There are certain foods I enjoy eating that Howard wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. At the top of that list are:

  • Bananas (the riper they are, the more I like them)
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini

This time of summer, everyone is swimming in zucchini. Since Howard won’t eat it, it stays off the dinner menu. However, I do like it and don’t want to abstain completely. I’ve found a way to share in the local zucchini bonanza without tormenting my zucchini-phobic husband. This recipe for zucchini gratin is a winner. When I make it, I take it for lunch, though most people would also enjoy it with or as dinner. Howard has nicknamed it, “Zucchini Rotten”, in keeping with his affection for the veggie. Opinion-wise, I beg to differ.

Zucchini Gratin
Serves 4
Adapted from Provencal Light by Martha Rose Shulman

2 lbs zucchini, grated
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves (do not substitute dried; use a different fresh herb if you don’t have fresh basil)
2 large eggs
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp breadcrumbs

Toss the zucchini with the salt, and place in a colander in the sink. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so, to draw off excess moisture. Rinse the zucchini (to remove the salt). Dry the rinsed zucchini well. (I wrap the zucchini in a clean dishtowel and squeeze to absorb the water.)

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the zucchini is cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and stir in the slivered basil.

Whisk together the eggs and the crumbled goat cheese. (It won’t be completely smooth.) Stir into the warm zucchini. I stir until the bigger clumps of cheese melt a bit.

Transfer the mixture to a 2 quart gratin pan (greased with more olive oil).

Combine the bread crumbs with 1 tsp olive oil. Sprinkle over the zucchini mixture in the pan.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the gratin is set, and the top is lightly browned.

This also halves really well.


Posted on 18 August 2010, in Farmers Market and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Cynthia Kamishlian

    Betsy- I love grilled eggplant and zucchini, and agree about bananas: riper is far better!!

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